Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Commute II– The Sequel

I have learned three important things after writing about the famous Commute from Munster a few weeks ago.  Here they are in no particular order. 

#1. We now have more than two readers of the blog.  In fact, I think it’s grown to 4 or 5 readers.  That’s 100%-150% growth.  If we can get it to 8-9 readers, we may get a sponsor for the blog.  I can see it now; “ presents the Foltice Blog.” 

#2. The bad thing about having 4-5 readers is that I no longer have any good stories to share in person.  That means instead of sharing an interesting story with a friend, the conversation usually goes,

Someone: “I read your blog post on (fill in the story).  That sounds crazy.”
Me: “Um, yup.  It was.”
(Long Silence)
Someone: “Uh, Okay.  See you later.”

It’s like the Seinfeld episode where Kramer sells his stories to J. Peterman for his biography.  (I apologize to the 2 German readers who won’t understand this Seinfeld example.  Here’s a link to a part of this episode.)  It’s like I have sold my good stories to the blog and now they belong to the blog and no longer to me. 
Maybe I need to omit some details of each story so I can say, “But what I didn’t say in the post was (fill in a couple of really interesting points.)”  It would be like a weird premium access to the blog (and we’re back down to 2 readers.)  

Sold his stories to J Peterman; just like we've sold our stories to the blog. 

#3. I am very well taken care of here.  Since the post, I have received a cell phone from the basketball team and all of the keys required to access the University Business Building 24/7 so an episode that like won't happen again.  

Now that I am more prepared, the Commute II Sequel will be even more boring than the first.  However, James Franco will still be playing the role of me in the sequel. 

Playing Bryan Foltice in The Commute movie series.

Friday, January 21, 2011

German Speaking Personal Assessment – 4 Month Check Up

My German is gradually getting (extremely gradually) better, though it has come a long way from the beginning.  I am at the point where I can communicate to people in German enough to get things done on a day to day basis without too much effort (or too much embarrassment).  I no longer lay in bed at 6 am trying to determine what I am going to say at the post office later that morning.

I can’t decide which, but the proper current assessment of my German is either a two year old child or a caveman.  At this point, it’s a combination of both.  I get the feeling that after I walk out of the bike shop after asking to get my bike tire fixed, the store clerk and his wife have a strong feeling that I am a pretty independent disabled person for going there all by myself. 

People have to listen very closely when I am speaking German.  It’s like a two year, where only the parent’s know what he or she is saying and has to interpret to everyone else.  Except for me, there is no one to interpret my Denglish (Deutsch and English combined.)  To make matters worse, I have to sometimes (okay a lot) throw in English words when I get stuck telling a story.  It’s my indirect way of asking if we can bring the conversation to English, if possible. 

Speaking of which, I have only admitted once in the last 4 months that I don’t speak English.  Dana, on the other hand, asks the question right away.  This can be both good and bad.  I don’t like Dana’s approach too much as we are learning the language, living in Germany, and need to have these awkward conversations to get better.  On the other hand, just guessing what people are saying and responding with a yes or a no, is going to get me in a lot of trouble if it hasn’t already.  I think I have already agreed to donate my organs to the gas station attendant when I die and I am 70% sure that I loaned 3 million euros to a guy at the park.  This is the problem with shaking your head and saying yes or no without knowing the question.   

If you would ask Dana, she would say I already acted like a cave man.  Now, I speak like one when I am trying to talk in German.   Because I struggle with the filler/transitional words, I mutter things like, ‘I bring paper now’ or, ‘You have key?’ Add this on top my normal scratching of myself and frequent grunts, and it all makes sense.  Is this why I don’t think the Geico Caveman commercials are funny at all?  I just believed that everyone thought they were stupid.   I, go, now. 

Running errands.  "So easy, even an (American that speaks like a) caveman can do it."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An invitation to our current and future friends in Borken

Borkener Zeitung Lokaler Sport page, Samstag, 15. Januar 2011
Today a half-page article came out in the Borkener Zeitung about us.  Thank you for the special attention, we only wish we had a better handle on the German language to actually read the article. Hopefully our quotes translated well.  We're glad we can share our embarrassing stories with the city.  I guess if we didn't feel comfortable about it, we wouldn't share our stories with the rest of the world on our blog. 

The purpose of this post is to make a request that we didn't mention during the interview with the newspaper. We were asked about the biggest differences between living in America and living in Germany, and although we gave honest answers, we did leave out one important difference: in America we were heavily involved with our church, but here we don't really know any other Christians.

We are still involved with our church in Jacksonville, Fla. - Celebration Church - and still attend by watching the services online every Sunday afternoon at 15:30 or 17:30 at But what is missing for us is the fellowship with other Christians.

The homepage for Celebration Church - - check it out!

So, we are using this blog post to put out an invitation to anyone in the Borken area who would like to start a Bible study with us.  If you're interested, please email me at:

Secondly, if any of you are interested in joining us to attend one of Celebration Church's services online on an upcoming Sunday, also please email me.

Thanks and we hope to hear from you!